un·​der·​world | \ ˈən-dər-ˌwərld How to pronounce underworld (audio) \

Definition of underworld

1 : the place of departed souls : hades
2 archaic : earth
3 : the side of the earth opposite to one : antipodes
4 : a social sphere below the level of ordinary life the town's seedy underworld especially : the world of organized crime

Examples of underworld in a Sentence

a magazine article taking an insightful look at the underworld inhabited by street people
Recent Examples on the Web These tribes used their surroundings to honor their religious and spiritual beliefs, building mounds as routes for spirits to reach the upper world and using caves as sacred spaces that served as routes to the underworld. CNN, 4 May 2022 The show travels to the underworld and back again with liquified grace, writes theater critic Charles McNulty. Amy Hubbard, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 Barry's Hollywood overworld always reflects the drug-running underworld, so Barry's sorta-friend NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) finds himself on a parallel upswing. Darren Franich, EW.com, 22 Apr. 2022 Set in Paris’s underworld, the thriller series will shed right on the rites and customs of this enigmatic religious sect from diverse perspectives, focusing on the experiences of those inside and outside the community. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 22 Mar. 2022 About the political, economic and dark underworld forces that were playing out even as ambitious outsiders — like Angela and her sisters—were arriving from Mexico’s interior. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 The lines between cops and robbers start to blur as Adelstein moves deeper into the Tokyo underworld and learns of the fragile agreements that maintain peace between different factions. Christian Holub, EW.com, 7 Apr. 2022 And with the Goat cookie jar, Ruth has a physical manifestation of the non-physical that infects nearly everyone in Ozark: the death of dreams and ambition due to entanglement in this criminal underworld. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 26 Jan. 2022 The original film was followed in 2014 by The Raid 2, which saw protagonist Rama go undercover to fight both police corruption and gangs in the criminal underworld. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underworld.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of underworld

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for underworld

Time Traveler

The first known use of underworld was in 1598

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Dictionary Entries Near underworld



under wraps

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Statistics for underworld

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Underworld.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underworld. Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for underworld


un·​der·​world | \ ˈən-dər-ˌwərld How to pronounce underworld (audio) \

Kids Definition of underworld

: the world of crime

More from Merriam-Webster on underworld

Nglish: Translation of underworld for Spanish Speakers


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